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Nollywood Classics: Nigerian Movie Recommendations



Living in Bondage is Nollywoods first movie

Nigeria’s movie industry, popularly known as Nollywood, is the third largest in the world, producing hundreds of films every year. Over the years, Nollywood has produced many classic movies that have become cultural touchstones in Nigeria and beyond. Here are some of the greatest Nigerian movies of all time:

  1. Living in Bondage (1992) – directed by Chris Obi Rapu
  2. Osuofia in London (2003) – directed by Kingsley Ogoro
  3. Rattlesnake (1995) – directed by Amaka Igwe
  4. The Figurine (2009) – directed by Kunle Afolayan
  5. Ije (2010) – directed by Chineze Anyaene
  6. Half of a Yellow Sun (2013) – directed by Biyi Bandele
  7. October 1 (2014) – directed by Kunle Afolayan
  8. The Wedding Party (2016) – directed by Kemi Adetiba
  9. Lionheart (2018) – directed by Genevieve Nnaji
  10. King of Boys (2018) – directed by Kemi Adetiba

These movies are not only celebrated for their storytelling and technical achievements but also for their cultural significance and impact on Nigerian cinema. They have also helped to elevate Nollywood to the global stage and have contributed to the growth of the African film industry as a whole.


Onyeka Onwenu: The Elegant Stallion



Many young people today may not really understand the influence that certain musicians commanded back in the day, some of them were literally worshipped as demi-gods, one of whom is the Nigerian singer and performer, Onyeka Onwenu who is alternatively referred to as ‘the elegant stallion’.

Onwenu is fondly referred to as ‘The Elegant Stallion’ By Her Admirers

Onyeka Onwenu is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, actress, journalist, and politician who was born on May 17, 1952. She is often referred to as the “Elegant Stallion” because of her graceful and dignified presence on stage. Onwenu’s music is a blend of traditional African rhythms, pop, and soul, and her lyrics often explore themes of love, social justice, and political activism.

Onwenu began her musical career in the 1980s, when she released her debut album “For the Love of You”. The album was a commercial success and established Onwenu as a rising star in the Nigerian music scene. Over the next few decades, she continued to release hit albums, including “In the Morning Light”, “Golden Songs”, and “One Love”.

Onwenu Was Known For Her Soulful Vocals

Onwenu’s music was not only popular in Nigeria but also across Africa and in the diaspora. She was known for her soulful vocals and her ability to infuse traditional African rhythms with contemporary Western sounds. Her music was a reflection of the changing times in Nigeria, as the country underwent rapid social and cultural changes in the post-colonial era.

In addition to her music, Onwenu was also a prominent journalist and advocate for women’s rights. She used her platform to speak out against gender-based violence and inequality, and she was a vocal supporter of the feminist movement in Nigeria. In the 1990s, she served as the chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture and played a key role in promoting the arts in Nigeria.

Onwenu’s activism was not limited to Nigeria; she was also a vocal critic of apartheid in South Africa and spoke out against the racist policies of the apartheid regime. She was a supporter of the anti-apartheid movement and used her music to raise awareness about the plight of black South Africans.

Onwenu Is Considered A Legend In The Nigerian & African Music Scene

Onwenu’s legacy extends beyond her music and activism. She is also a successful actress who has appeared in numerous Nigerian films and television shows. She has won several awards for her acting, including the Best Actress award at the African Movie Academy Awards.

In 2013, Onwenu was appointed as the Director-General of the National Centre for Women Development in Nigeria. In this role, she worked to promote gender equality and empower women in Nigeria. She has also been involved in politics and was a member of the National Democratic Coalition, a pro-democracy group that fought against military rule in Nigeria. Onyewu is considered a legend in the Nigerian and African Music scene and even though she’s far past her prime, her music will live forever.

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Highlife Music: Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe’s Chronicles



Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe

Stephen Osita Osadebe was a Nigerian highlife musician who was born in Atani, in the southeastern state of Anambra, Nigeria. He was born on March 1936 and passed away on May 2007. Osadebe was a prolific artist who released over 500 songs during his career. He was one of the most popular musicians in Nigeria and was widely regarded as the “Chief Commander” of highlife music. Osadebe’s music was deeply rooted in the traditional rhythms and melodies of his Igbo culture. He drew inspiration from the traditional music of the Igbo people, as well as from Western styles such as jazz and blues. Osadebe’s music was characterized by his smooth vocals and his use of the guitar to create intricate, rhythmic melodies. His music was often danceable, and he was known for his ability to get audiences moving with his infectious beats.

Cover Photo for his Hit Single ‘Osondi Owendi’

Osadebe’s popularity began to grow in the 1960s, when he released his first album, “Atamga Achiever”. This album was a commercial success, and it established Osadebe as a rising star in the Nigerian music scene. Over the next few decades, Osadebe continued to release hit albums, including “Osondi Owendi” and “Kedu America”. His music was embraced by people of all ages, and his popularity extended beyond Nigeria to other African countries and even to the United States and Europe. One of the reasons for Osadebe’s success was his ability to fuse traditional Igbo music with Western styles. He was able to create a unique sound that appealed to both traditionalists and younger audiences who were interested in new and innovative sounds. His music was a reflection of the changing times in Nigeria, as the country underwent rapid social and cultural changes in the post-colonial era.Osadebe also used his music to address social and political issues in Nigeria.

Osadebe Receives Adulation From An Admirer During A Musical Performance

Many of his songs were about the struggles of the Igbo people, who were often marginalized in Nigerian society. He sang about issues such as poverty, corruption, and inequality, and his music was a voice for the oppressed and marginalized. He also celebrated Igbo culture and traditions, and his music helped to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of the Igbo people.Osadebe’s legacy lives on long after his death. His music continues to be popular in Nigeria and around the world, and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians in Nigerian history.

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Afrobeats: How Fela Pioneered A Global Sound



Long before the Davido’s, Wizkid’s and Burnaboy’s, there was a force which dominated the Nigerian and African music scene and later the global stage, there was no social media and technology at the time to propagate music as is done today, he was extremely popular on his own terms and organically too, his musical style was unique, his rhythm was different, his melody was unmatched, this he would go on to name ‘Afrobeats’, many decades later, it has become a global phenomenon and has projected Nigerian artistes to the fore, his name is Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

Fela Is The Pioneer Of Afrobeats

Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a Nigerian musician, activist, and pioneer of the Afrobeat genre. Born in Abeokuta, Nigeria on October 15, 1938, he was the son of a Protestant minister and a mother who was a feminist and civil rights activist. Fela’s musical career spanned over three decades, during which he released numerous albums and gained a following in Nigeria and around the world. Beyond his music, Fela was a controversial figure who used his platform to speak out against corruption, oppression, and injustice in Nigeria and beyond.

Fela began his musical career in the 1960s, playing highlife music with his band, Koola Lobitos. This music was influenced by jazz and traditional African rhythms and was popular in Nigeria at the time. However, Fela soon began to experiment with new sounds and styles, drawing inspiration from funk, jazz, and African percussion. This experimentation led to the creation of Afrobeat, a genre that blended African rhythms and melodies with funk and jazz instrumentation.

Afrobeats Became a Cultural Movement That Spoke To the Experience of African People

Afrobeat was more than just a musical genre; it was a cultural movement that spoke to the experiences of African people around the world. Fela’s music was a reflection of the political and social struggles that many Africans faced, and he used his lyrics to express his views on these issues. He was critical of the Nigerian government, which he saw as corrupt and oppressive, and he spoke out against police brutality, censorship, and other forms of injustice.

Fela’s music was also deeply rooted in African spirituality and culture. He was a follower of the Yoruba religion, which he believed connected him to his ancestral heritage. Fela’s music often featured Yoruba chants and rhythms, and his lyrics explored themes of spirituality, mysticism, and African mythology. This fusion of African spirituality and music was a hallmark of Fela’s music and helped to establish Afrobeat as a distinct genre.

Fela’s music was not just popular in Nigeria; it gained a following around the world. In the 1970s, Fela toured extensively in Europe and North America, performing to sold-out crowds and gaining a reputation as a charismatic and dynamic performer. His music was embraced by people of all races and backgrounds, who saw Fela as a voice for the oppressed and marginalized.

Fela Heavily Criticized The Government

However, Fela’s activism and outspokenness also made him a target of the Nigerian government. In 1977, the government launched a brutal attack on Fela’s compound, known as the Kalakuta, he was assaulted and whisked away by soldiers on the orders of the military Head-Of-State General Olusegun Obasanjo, his mother wasn’t left out as she was also physically hurt which subsequently left her with a lifetime injury leading to her death years later. This however was fuel to Fela who’d return from prison and continue to be be critical of the government even more, this made him a man of the people and a lot of Nigerians saw him as their mouthpiece because only a few people were courageous enough to speak ill of the government at the time.

Almost three decades after Fela’s departure, his sound is still as relevant as it was during his time, the younger generation have jumped on the genre making it a global phenomenon and his seen a meteoric rise in demand for Nigerian artistes on the global stage, earning them international record & distribution deals and touring the world performing their music, all thanks to the musical genius of it’s founder, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Fela may be dead, but his legacy lives on forever.

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